The play 4 stages takes place around the family dining table set up for games night. Life long friends Alex played by Andre Skeet and Ben (Brett Allen) get together about every four weeks to catch up and enjoy some relaxed company, a few drinks and some very deep conversations.
The chemistry between the cast of three is superb. The conversations between the two men flow with ease and the reality of these two being friends is superbly acted and extremely believable. They know the smallest details about one another and reminisce about growing up. I actually envisaged where there were at that time and how they might have looked.
Cat played by Natasha Redhead in the role of Ben’s wife is a strong and caring character. The love and banter between the couple is something every relationship should aim for. From the private looks that the couple give to one another to the angry heartfelt arguments of frustration that erupt.
First-time parents Ben and Natasha dote on their firstborn. A little girl Sarah who you only ever hear crying at times over the monitor. Ben explains how he feels about the importance of being a Dad as he lost his at 4 years old and talks candidly about the effect it had on his life and how he wants things to be different for his daughter.
The stage is dressed has been very well designed and set up to resemble a living room area but on a smaller scale as the table is a chefs block. This doesn’t take any way of the believability that they are sat around a dining table. The choice of classic board games of operation, scrabble and top trumps is a very good selection as the audience will be familiar with at least one of them.
The realism of life and relationships run throughout the play from strong for friendships, love, loyalty, marriage and what family means to different people. Prepare to enjoy, laugh and cry all in the space of this 75-minute play. It truly is an extremely emotional rollercoaster that left me questioning what I would do too?
A great pub theatre production that I truly hope will go on to appear in other venues. I would highly recommend spending in the evening in Old Skool Collective’s company. Remember to bring some tissues.
Produced by Brett Allen, Andrew Brandford and Patricia Allen.
On at the
Bread and Roses Theatre
68 Clapham Manor Street
October 15th-26th at 7.30 pm.